WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Once again there are new developments in the story WWAY broke last week involving a Raleigh couple and two Highway Patrol troopers from New Hanover County.
We have obtained text messages the troopers sent to each another and an exclusive interview with a man who was inside the Wrightsville Beach Police Department when it all went down.
Matthew Ragone admits he blew twice the legal limit for blood alcohol two weeks ago at the Wrightsville Beach Police Department. But Ragone says he clearly remembers that night and remembers the interaction between Gina and Hoyt Tessener and the trooper who thought Gina was under the influence.
“I remember pretty much everything from that night,” Ragone said in an exclusive interview with WWAY NewsChannel 3. “It’s definitly etched in my mind.”
Ragone witnessed first-hand the interaction between the Tesseners and Tpr. Edward Wyrick Jr. on the night Wyrick accused Gina of drinking and driving.
Ragone is seen in the Wrightsville Beach Police Department video watching the incident play out in front of him in the police station’s holding area.
“Everything seemed, you know, fairly calm and what not, but as soon as the husband showed up, things got a little heated,” Ragone said.
Ragone says it was Hoyt Tessener’s actions inside the holding area that got him to really focus on the Tesseners and Tpr. Wyrick.
“He showed up, and the officer had actually greeted him outside and then came in and had mentioned that he wasn’t very happy,” Ragone said. “At that point they allowed (Hoyt Tessener) into the holding area, and he just went pretty ballistic. She actually stayed pretty calm the entire time, but he definitely got loud and was pretty upset by the whole thing, which I guess was understandable, but it got pretty crazy.”
Ragone gives Wyrick credit, saying the trooper stayed calm the entire time. Ragone also says he didn’t notice the trooper trying to intimidate the Tesseners like they claim.
“The officer himself kept his cool pretty well, asked the man multiple times to please calm down, that they were just waiting on the magistrate. That he couldn’t personally release her,” Ragone said.
Besides the intimidation claims, the Tesseners also claimed Wyrick set Hoyt up by texting Tpr. Andrew Smith, who later pulled Hoyt over while Hoyt followed his wife and Wyrick, who were headed for the New Hanover County Jail.
Text messages released Tuesday by the Highway Patrol show that the troopers sent a total of four messages.
Wyrick texted, “This woman refused all roadside testing, and blew .00. Her husband is a trial lawyer and told me I should be ashamed of myself.”
Tpr. Smith texted back: “hahahaha f*** her and f*** him. She say how much she’d had to drink?”
Wyrick texts, “She said 1 drink at 7pm.”
Smith then replys: “f*** her”
The Highway Patrol also released Tuesday mobile data messages from the two troopers. Three messages were sent after Tpr. Smith pulled over Hoyt Tessener for speeding.
“Tell him if he wants to cop an attitude to feel free and come back and ill stroke him that speed,” Smith wrote.
Wyrick replied, “How fast,” and Smith answered back, “58,” refering to 58 miles per hour in a 45 miles per hour zone.
The Highway Patrol says the internal investigation continues into Wyrick and Smith. Both men are on administrative duty for the time being. The Highway Patrol expects to wrap up the investigation soon.
We called Hoyt Tessener today for comment about the latest information we’ve uncovered, but have not heard back from him.